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I hope that this blog will become a place to look after my writing ideas and that, over time, I can use it to archive all my favourite creative sites on the web. Maybe others will enjoy it too.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Right, a two-night hiatus means that I find it hard to get back in the saddle. I cheated over at 750words by just analysing sections of the novel from 2012, illuminating but hardly writing.

Now I'm almost finished with the horror of the novel I'm reading it's actually getting harder to read - something about this section just rankles with me. I think it was one of the first bits that were written and it hasn't seen much revision at all. There's a paragraph that actually says that a car was "grey and the sort that you wouldn't look at twice". I mean, apart from the poor use of second person in a limited-third narration style, there's the fact that we are out-and-out told a car is nondescript after being told about all the distinguishing features (plastic sheeting over the upholstery, colour of the car, the fact that four people are in it, one with a freaking staff in the passenger seat!). Gah.

Anyway, today was the attempt to establish that Anastasia has a boyfriend (not anything lasting) and has many, many nicknames. This latter point is my subtle set-up (ha, subtle!) for the fact that she will later be choosing a name for herself but won't stick with it for very long. There are a couple of other things I want to set up here too, but this is just a first draft so I suspect that they're all a tad obvious at present.

Analysis is provided courtesy of 750words.com who remain brilliant.

Rating: PG-13 (Swearing [damn?], Sexual content[?] and violence [no clue])

Feeling mostly Self-Expressive, and concerned mostly about Money - Anastasia buys aspirin?

Mindset: Extrovert - Positive - Certain - Feeling

Time: The Past; Primary Sense: Sight (unusually); Us and Them: You

24 minutes at 36 words per minute.

Morning, combined with a pounding headache, eventually won out over lethargy and forced her out of the flat in search of some aspirin. Or something even stronger. As she left the main door, Anastasia felt the edge of her phone, a wonderfully cheap brick, in her bag to make sure it was there. As she crossed the road she thought she caught sight of the hooded man from the previous evening disappearing into a ginnel. She shook her head, that was just paranoia, and walked as briskly as she could manage.

The rain had eased, the clouds were leaden and the light was poor. She cursed whoever had come up with the stupid idea of having Sunday opening times that forced decent people out into the light of the day before they were really ready. Somewhere Suzy would be singing her lungs out, already awake and all up and at 'em. It didn't really bear thinking about and she was prevented from doing so further by arrival at the small supermarket. The comforting colours of the chain were familiar, sterile and unchanging, and the strip lighting, though unhelpful, was at least bright enough to pick out both painkillers and something cheap with caffeine in it. A buzzing from the recesses of the bag alerted her to a call.


"Hey, Stars!" Smooth and deep: Jake had been the floor representative for another group during Fresher's Week. "Heard about the party next weekend yet?"

Muscled, tattooed and a mature student, he was everything that she looked for in adventure and knew that she was everything he'd ever need. "Jakey-boy, I haven't. Should I have?" Of course she had, but it was always fun to make him work a little, it wouldn't do to make things easy.

"Heh," it was almost like he didn't believe her, "Hallowe'en. Spooky Sexy. Disco. What more do you want to know?"

"A time would be nice, I might well be busy with my full social life, multiple suitors and many demands on my time." Playing with a strand of hair absently she turned away from the tills at the far end as though that would make the conversation more private. "You must be bringing something to the party to make me want to go, you know."

"I thought the fancy dress option would be 'ticing enough," the reference to a Lakeland shop run by a cat and terrier was not missed, "Besides, I figured you'd actually be awake by seven on a Saturday. You back from work by then, right?"

"You drive a hard bargain, feller-me-lad, I'll see what I can rustle up."

"Oh good. Remember, Stars, spooky sexy. I have no idea what that means but I do look forward to finding out what you think it means!"

"At this rate it'll mean a baggy jumper, shapeless jeans and a sharp elbow to your ribs."

"Aw, my little girl's all feisty and growed up."

"You'll pay for that!"

"Promises, promises. Well, distracting as this is it will never match seeing you in the flesh," a pregnant pause, "So to speak. So, I'm off to go and do important executive type things-"

"You mean organising a venue for your martial arts group?"

"That can be executive. I've had to wear a suit and tie to meet the owners of this place, they don't rent to just anyone you know."

"You in a suit?" It was a comical vision, but one tinged with the faintest hint of attraction, that she couldn't deny. "How'd you even manage to get in one of those? Last I checked they didn't really make room for abs and pecs of ludicrous size."

"Easy, tiger! I'll have you know that my rippling body fits just fine into properly tailored suits."

"Cheap knock-offs from the market?"

"Were they, or were they not, tailored to fit? I think you'll find they were." Attempting to sound pompous was one of his more endearing qualities. "And now I have no more time to waste with you, peasant, so I shall see you in the new week. Mwah, dwah-ling!"

"Oh, get knotted, good luck getting it booked. Bye!" Stabbing a finger to stop the call, Anastasia had the feeling of being both energised by the conversation and relieved that it was over so that she could slump back into being grumpy at the world. It was too early on a Sunday to be bright and happy, making it happen was too much effort and hard work. Grunting a few pleasantries with an equally bored and shiftless shop assistant, she paid for the aspirin and drink and set off back to the flat. It looked like thunder.

As she walked there was a sudden streak of something, orange and dirty-looking, across the road. Looking again, she just caught sight of a foxthu, obviously an urban one, in full glory as it dashed beneath a low hedge and disappeared from view. It was definitely out late in the day, she mused, but she was glad she had seen it. "Beau-" she breathed, and then realised that she was speaking out loud. "Bloody vermin." It wouldn't dohierst to be heard being nice about foxes. Nevertheless, cheered by the sight and by the conversation, Anastasia returned to planning how to best explain the role of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and which sources to cite. With any luck, now that she was unavoidably awake, she could find the time to finish the damn' thing before the evening.

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